State of mind

My state of mind has changed to a large thanks to karate. Before I was obsessed with karate, I was really obsessed about rugby,only my dad knows this but I wanted to become a professional rugby player. I’m not saying I was good enough or anything, I’m just saying that I had the right drive and passion, and if I had the skill I would of tried to become the best I could of. But without the right skill, or the right chances when I realised I would never be good enough, I lost alot of interest in rugby. Also I use to think that I was indestructible, I am very strong for my size of 5ft 11in and 13 1/2 stone but I use to try and play like I was a 6ft 5in 18 stone bloke. Then I had an ankle injury, nothing too serious but it made me realise how vulnerable I was, combine this with the fact that I lost the passion for rugby, I turned my back on playing the game, I couldn’t get over the fear factor. I tried to comeback a few times, but I lost my confidence.

Training in jujitsu and other martial arts lessened the fear of it, I didn’t mind being thrown so much, even with going to China and most of my time in Goju Ryu this fear that I developed when I was 18 stayed with me. Even though I had gained alot of skill from karate, I wasn’t confident enough with myself in sparring in China, and when I got my tooth broken at a karate grading of my own (plus the fact I went through a really really dark period in my life) when I returned to karate after 4 months (this was a year prior to china) my fear had magnitude  and I would flinch, it took me along time to stop flinching, but people tend to think I don’t fear injury, that I just rush into it, they could be further from the truth. It is a combination of my fiery passionate side, plus a my fathers words to me which work in all contact sports or martial arts “The harder you hit, the less damage you will receive, the more gentler you hit, the harder your opponent will hit you and your body will take more of blow”.

So that is how I generally fight, a mixture of passion and fear, hence my poem about the tranquillity of Kumite which can be applied to any sport. The best fights in the dojo I have had is when I have had this Zen feeling and I feel like that I have transcended above my passion and fear, I just let my body react and have this really calm and spiritual feeling, which I have normally only got from Qigong or a few times with yoga.

I have noticed my state of mind change recently, well since I broke my ribs (I suppose I technically broke them twice or thrice in a week because i didn’t care about the pain at the time) normally when I have a bad injury I would have the fear factor inside of me about if i went back to karate after it’s healed  about getting re-injured that is apart of being human. But I’am just getting more and more frustrated that I have to spend so much time away from the dojo and I try to keep training around but really through the injury which keeps making it worse.

The other night I actually collapsed, first time in my life, no I wasn’t drinking, apparently the doc said it was a fluke, a combination of my body trying to heal itself, me catching a chill, and after I had been sleeping I had lowered my blood pressure and after going to the toilet and I had lowered my volume so much that all these factors were too much, even for a very healthy and fit 25 year old. Collapsing and going into slight shock was a weird experience, but I didn’t have any major fear, I was just thinking well this is going to set me back even more in my goals. And listening to the Doc and my mother (who use to be a nurse in charge for the neurosurgery department) I am going to take it much more steady then I have been. My plan for the next month of so is to cycle in the gym alot, do leg exercises, stance work, slow kata and some conditioning on my arms and maybe grippers.

Why am I like this now, this obsession if you will. Goju Ryu was the art that I had been searching for all my life when I wanted to try martial arts, its fills I can’t explain a void that most other martial arts don’t seem to fill to me. Not that i think it is perfect, I still have want to try many other martial arts! I love the history of them and how they have evolved, I should of done a degree on them!

Going for Shodan Ho to me is a step to going for Shodan (1st blackbelt), and I started training for it since I finished my last grading. I have messed up way to much in my life, and I want to achieve something that I have been passionate about for 4+ years, to me it is the ultimate redemption for some of my mistakes, a baptism under fire if you will. I won’t go travelling or get any tattoos until I have achieved it. In the past I took my time with gradings, with the fear of knowing each further grading gets worse, and that the fights get much harder and more brutal, and the fear is still there, but it is giving me a drive that I need at this period in my life. Don’t get me wrong I still want to try lots of different things like disco roller skating and tough mudder, but I have stopped trying many things at once, and focusing what I need to do not to achieve a belt, but to become the man I always thought I should be rather than the one I am now.

I now have goals, and I am bloody determined to achieve them. I will no longer be weak, I will be forged into an iron will of steel.

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One Response to State of mind

  1. Kristin :) says:

    After reading this, I want to go and hardcore train…RIGHT NOW! :p I have a Tourney coming up early Feb. Similar to you, I have a lot of passions (I want to run a marathon, too!) but I want to really focus on Karate!

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